Pesta Pulau Pinang was the brainchild of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Penang’s chief minister from 1969 to 1990. It began in 1970 as part of an effort to create a healthy environment for businesses during a period of high unemployment and uncertain economic climate. The carnival-like event showcased consumer goods and business items and was held during the year-end school holiday period.
In the early days, there was no fixed location for Pesta. It was held at places such as the Esplanade and Lebuh Macallum before it moved to the Sungai Nibong site in 1974. “The site has changed a lot since then – previously, there were fewer stalls and stores, more greenery and trees,” reminisces Mohd Zaidi Mohd Nor, the head supervisor of Pesta.
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